People fleeing conflict in Myanmar carry their mother, who is sick, in a basket through the streets as they arrive at the Bangladesh border

(c) Abir Abdullah/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

People fleeing conflict in Myanmar carry their mother, who is sick, in a basket through the streets as they arrive at the Bangladesh border

Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly Rohingya, have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape ongoing conflict and violence. HelpAge International is working to provide age-friendly emergency relief to older women and men.

Since 25 August, renewed violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state has forced more than half a million men, women and children, to flee their homes – the largest mass movement of people seen in the region for decades. These are already some of the world's most vulnerable individuals – and now they have fled in fear for their lives, many walking more than 50km to safety.

Settling in camps in Bangladesh's coastal district Cox's Bazar, people are arriving exhausted and hungry. It is monsoon season at the moment, and heavy rains could make the difficult situation even worse by increasing the spread of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, typhoid and malaria.

Once the rains subside and the conditions make it easier to flee, thousands more people are expected to make the same journey.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, has described the humanitarian situation as "catastrophic".

How we are responding to this crisis?

Through our HelpAge global network in Bangladesh, Resource Integration Centre and Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Institute of Geriatric Medicine, we are helping those most at risk, including older people, by setting up three age-friendly spaces in one of the permenant camps in Cox's Bazar. These will provide health screenings and home-based care in the camp community, access to age-friendly latrines, and ensure older people reach the services they need.

We desperately need funds to reach the vulnerable older people affected by the Myanmar crisis. Please give today. If you live in the UK, please donate through our partner Age International, and for anywhere else in the world donate through us.

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